The Actual Production History (APH) forage production crop insurance program has been improved, according to a recent announcement from USDA's Risk Management Agency in St. Paul, MN. The price used to calculate 2008 forage guarantees has been announced at $84/ton in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. The pricing structure was changed from a different price for each state to a regional price for 2008. The price represents an increase in Minnesota from 2007 and a decrease in Iowa and Wisconsin.

The biggest change is the availability of 80% and 85% coverage levels. Previously, the highest coverage level available was 75%. For example, if your alfalfa yield is 4.0 tons per acre, the highest guaranteed yield you could have for 2007 is 3.0 tons. For 2008, you will be able to insure up to 85% of the 4.0-ton average, or 3.4 tons. For Minnesota producers, this means it's possible to have $78 more protection per acre in 2008 than was available in 2007 due to the higher price and the higher coverage level.

Other changes for 2008 include widespread increases to county transitional yields and updates of county premium rates.

The deadline for signing up for APH insurance on forage production in the three states for 2008 is Oct. 2, 2007. Contact a local crop insurance agent for details on the forage insurance program for your county. For more information on forage crop insurance protection, visit the Risk Management Agency Web site at www.rma.usda.gov. Find a forage production APH fact sheet published by the St. Paul Regional Office at www.rma.usda.gov/aboutrma/fields/mn_rso/.